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NMCN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: HND Nursing to Commence in October 2017, Other Updates
Date Posted: 29/Mar/2017
Yesterday News filtered in that the long proposed and much awaited Higher National Diploma in Nursing in Nigeria is set to take off this year.  Many reactions have continued to trail the proposal with many nurses critizing this proposal. 
 
KNOW THE FACT before you criticize the proposal 
 
Extract from the ongoing nursing leadership conference – Kaduna 2017 
 
1.    EXISTING STRUCTURE OF GENERAL NURSING AND MIDWIFERY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA 
 
 
    General Nurses are educated in schools of nursing approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, in a three (3) year programme. 
 
 
Entry Requirements: credit in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English Language at not more than two sittings. 
 
 
Duration of Training: Three (3) years 
 
 
Professional Qualification Obtained: Registered Nurse. 
 
 
Academic Qualification Obtained: NIL 
 
 
    Nurses are educated in departments of nursing accredited by both National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). 
 
 
Entry Requirements: Credit in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English Language at not more than two sittings 
 
 
Duration of Training: five (5) years 
 
 
Professional Qualification Obtained: Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife, Registered Public Health Nurse 
 
 
Academic Qualification Obtained: Bachelor of Nursing Science 
 
 
THE REFORM AGENDA 
 
    The National Universities Commission classifies nursing education in Nigeria in the same category with those of other Health Professions in which the programme runs for five years. 
 
    The national policy on education classifies institutions similar to schools of nursing as Monotechnic that should be under joint regulation with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). 
 
 
In view of the above, nursing and midwifery reform agenda is structured to conform with the educational guidelines of these two tertiary education regulators in Nigeria. 
 
 
After consultation with National Universities Commission on the procedure to be followed, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria was informed that affiliation of institutions with already approved universities for the purposes of awarding degrees is on hold and the only option left to schools of nursing interested in this approach to the reform is by integration/ total absorption of schools in the same state or within the same locality with the approved university. 
 
 
Presently, two schools of nursing have indicated interest in this approach. 
 
 
    It is no longer tolerated in this dispensation that any Nigerian with the five specific credit level passes in WAEC or NECO will go through a structured, approved and regulated educational programme and graduate without a recognized academic qualification. 
 
 
2.    Reforms of the Hospital Based Schools of Nursing and Midwifery for award of academic certificates. 
 
A major gap in the Hospital Based System of Nursing and Midwifery Education is the fact that the institutions are not empowered by the Federal Government to award academic certificates. 
 
An institution in Nigeria can only award academic certificate if regulated by : 
 
A.    The National Universities Commission(NUC), 
 
B.    National Board for Technical Education(NBTE) 
 
C.    National Commission for Colleges of Education(NCCE). 
 
In 2007 the Federal Ministry of Education based on its Expert Assessor’s Committee that visited to accord official recognition to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and its qualifications stated in its circular DE/ESS/20/EV/169 dated 20th November 2007 that : The General Nursing qualification or the Basic Midwifery qualification is rated as Higher National Diploma. However, the circular added that the above qualification is so rated for employment purpose only. 
 
It was in the light of the above, that the Board of the Nursing and Midwifery of Nigeria at its 37th General Meeting mandated the Management of the Council to conclude all arrangements with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the award of ND/HND Nursing, so that the Hospital Based Schools could be empowered by the provisions of the Federal Government to award academic certificates. 
 
In line with the above, the Council updated the already developed ND/HND Nursing Curricula in collaboration with NBTE. Also the ND/HND Nursing programme was re-structured to accommodate the provisions of the New Scheme of Service for Nurses and to allow for easy career and academic progression for nurses and midwives, who may wish to further their education. 
 
    The programme shall be a four year course for the award of ND/HND Nursing. 
 
    All graduates shall sit for the Council Professional Examination for the award of Registered Nurse (RN) certificate. 
 
    Each graduate shall also have an additional option for specialization in Midwifery or Public Health Nursing. 
 
    The institutions under this new system shall run as Colleges of Nursing, and entrance shall be through JAMB. 
 
    The College shall be required to have an Enabling Law establishing it and Governing Board. 
 
    The College shall have Departments of Nursing, Midwifery, Public Health as well as Basic Sciences and General Studies with qualified lecturers and instructors. 
 
It is noteworthy to state that most Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in Nigeria have already been structured in line with the above requirements. 
 
To ensure the realization of the above, the Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) in January, 2017, for the commencement of ND/HND Nursing.  With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with NBTE, the next step would be resource verification to determine the readiness of interested institutions to commence the programme. The Council would soon make available the Guidelines for running of the ND/HND Nursing programme so that Proprietors and Management of Schools of Nursing and Midwifery would be properly guided on the line of action to take. 
 
However, Schools running the current Nursing and Midwifery programme who are unable to meet the NBTE accreditation requirements shall be allowed to continue for a specific period of time to allow them prepare to be able to meet the accreditation requirements for operating the ND/HND Nursing programme. 
 
The Council is working hard to ensure that the first batch of students for this new programme commence studies by October 2017. 
 
Sherif Olanrewaju

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